George N. M.

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About George N. M.

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    Advanced Member

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  • Location
    NE Colorado
  • Interests
    Blacksmthing, camping, hiking, historical reenactment

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  1. George N. M.

    Who keeps the plans?

    Dear Slag, Although it has been 30+ years since I graduated from law school I still think of myself as a "recovering geologist." It's one day at a time and you are never completely cured. Whenever I get an urge to hit a rock with a hammer or make a map I call someone up and they talk me out of it. "My name is George and I'm a geologist. I've gone 27 days without hitting a rock with a hammer." (applause) When the bottom fell out of the minerals industry in the early 80s I didn't want to go to work at Burger King or 7-11 (I never wanted to say, "Do you want fries with that?" professionally.) I went back to the Univ. of Wyoming and went to law school. It's been fun. Inside job, no heavy lifting. I've been a blacksmith since the late '70s and that has been fun too. Contracts and contract attorneys are for the small percentage of times when things go bad. Attorneys get paid to look for and prepare for the worst case scenario. Most contract and agreements go just fine but the few that go bad justify all the preparation for the worst. However, it is hard to quantify a negative. You can't tell a client that you saved them X dollars in litigation costs and judgements because of the way you drafted their contract. One of the nice things about being a blacksmith is that while I have had to deal with ideas and paper all day long I get to deal with something very tangible at the forge. That has been a real saving grace and one of the reasons that I have not burned out as an attorney. G.
  2. George N. M.

    Who keeps the plans?

    A lot of the time various waivers and hold harmless clauses are there only to discourage claims and litigation. They are unenforceable in a court of law but serve to deter people who have a valid claim. Whoever drafted the language knows perfectly well that it has no legal effect but if it can serve to avoid, say, 50% of potential claims it has served its intent well. Rockstar, because of the question of one governmental entitiy's authority over another one building permits and building code compliance can be problematical. For example, a state office building may not have to meet a local building code or obtain a local building permit or even comply with local zoning because a local government cannot regulate a "superior" level of government from which it derives its authority. This will vary from state to state and may be addressed by statue but it can lead to some interesting results. Also, in CO there is a provision in the state Constitution which prohibits "pledging the public credit." This was enacted in the 19th century to prevent local governments from issuing bonds or making loans to support shaky railroad promoters who promised to bring a RR to town. Now, CO governments can use it to avoid any hold harmless clauses in contracts because that would be "pledging the public credit" to a private party. I believe that other states have similar laws. I agree with Slag that it would be pretty tough to present a cheat sheet on contracts here. It is a very complex area of the law and even a contracts course in law school only lays the general groundwork. There wasn't much in my contracts course that helped me in slogging through the AIA contract templates. Getting ahold of the bar exam review materials on contracts is a good start but remember, they are intended as a memory aide to people who have already been through law school, not to educate someone who has no prior knowledge. Fortunately, at blacksmith level the best binding contract is usually a handshake. The blacksmith does the work, the customer pays, and everyone is happy.
  3. George N. M.

    Junkyard find - Fly press

    I don't know what is available in your part of the world but adding something like turpentine or some other dryer to the linseed oil may mitigate the drying/stickiness issue.
  4. George N. M.

    Who keeps the plans?

    Dear Rockstar, Another issue from the property owner/client perspective is the cosy relationship between architects, engineers, design firms, and contractors. They will all be working with each other again and do not wish to foul their nest for future projects by calling BS on one another. Almost 20 years ago the County I worked for at the time passed a bond issue to build a new Human Services building. Once the voters approved the bond issue we knew the maximum budget for the property (in CO a government cannot incur multi-year debt without a vote of the people). We went to the architect and asked for a design within the budget. They came back with a design and cost estimate and when we put it out to bid the lowest bid was about 50% greater than the budgeted amount. The excuse was that the cost of steel had increased. I thought that is something the architects should have been keeping track of. I can see being off 10-15% plus or minus but that much means all they were doing was a WAG. We had to cut back the scope of the project considerably to get it within the budget.
  5. George N. M.

    High Altitude forge

    I will soon be moving to Laramie, WY and my new shop will be at 7500 feet above sea level. IIRC at that altitude the partial pressure of Oxygen is only about 70% of that at sea level. I have a modified Sandia type propane forge and I am concerned that at that altitude it will not get hot enough to forge weld. Does anyone have any ideas or thoughts about this and if my fears are justified any suggestions on how to increase the heat of the forge? A blower for supplemental air/oxygen? Different orifices? I'd be leery of trying to use bottled oxygen on the theory that any mistakes could convert my shop and me into little bitty smoking pieces. With my coal forge I can just crank the blower a little faster to get more O2 to the fire. Thanks.
  6. George N. M.

    Who keeps the plans?

    Just an aside since architects have been mentioned in this thread: The Architectural Institute of America model contracts are used extensively in the construction industry. What the AIA contracts are best at is covering the nether regions of the architect. I suggest that any property owner or contractor go over the model contracts VERY carefully and strike out any objectionable language. The hold harmless clauses are particularly bad. These things are VERY long and complex and it takes time and expertise to go through them. I wish I had the hours back I have spent reviewing them and I am sure that I missed a few landmines. Fortunately, most contracts go smoothly, the contractor does the job and the contractee pays for it and everyone is happy. Only occasionally do you have to have someone in a black robe tell you what you really meant.
  7. George N. M.

    What Is Garage Door Spring Good For?

    I have used 1/4" garage door spring to make fire steels. However, I have seen some that are an odd alloy and do not harden well. Also, if you re making them for sale make sure you give the customer a piece of flint with each fire steel. It's no fun to buy a new toy and not be able to strike sparks from it. Also, you can use this size of spring steel to make a nice little bodice dagger.
  8. I started making duplex head nail swords because I had kids coming by my booth and asking plaintively, "Do you have anything for a dollar?" So, for little nail swords I have a sign saying that they are priced at $1.00 for anyone 12 and under and $2.50 for anyone older. I often will drill a hole in the "handle" and put in a jump ring so that it can be worn as a pendant. Also, there are little things that can easily be done to them such as curving the blade to make a saber or cutlass or wire wheeling the "blade" so that they have two colors or putting oxidation colors on.
  9. George N. M.

    Four of Something

    A few observations which may help with analysis (and, no, I can't say with any certainty what they are except to say that they kind of look like the female end of a pintle hinge but they seem too hefty and unworn for that): 1) They appear to be very heavy duty and designed to carry a pretty heavy load. 2) assuming that they are magnetic I would guess that they are either an industrial forging made of steel or are made of cast iron. Maybe a spark test would help. 3) I don't like the tubing/pipe support hypothesis because they seem to be too heavy duty to support the weight of any fluid which could be transported in a pipe or tube the size of the hole. Also, generally, brackets and supports attach to the pipe in someway at the site of mounting the bracket. These would have to be threaded on from the end. 4) There appears to be no wear on the surface of the objects which means that they are either brand new or used is such a way that there is no exterior wear. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand"
  10. George N. M.

    Purpose, Profit, or Potential?

    Maybe sociologists, psychologists, or black smiths can reduce an employee's or an employer's motivations to a few categories but I'm skeptical of the validity of this exercise. As previously mentioned motivations can be very complex for either individuals or organizations. There is such variation that even if the categories are broad enough they become meaningless. It may be interesting to contrast organizations which, by necessity, are motivated by profit and those which are not such as various non-profits (some large such as some hospitals, REI, or USAA) and governmental organizations. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  11. George N. M.

    How do you stay cool ?

    OK, now everyone go back and convert any degree measurements mentioned to degrees Kelvin. No matter what scale is used we all have to be careful of not getting overheated and there are times when it is just too XXXX hot to go near a forge, even unfired or turned off. Cool drinks, breeze, and shade are our friends.
  12. George N. M.

    Purpose, Profit, or Potential?

    I think that as an employee if you have enough profit purpose becomes the primary reward. I have stayed at jobs which payed less than I might have made elsewhere because I enjoyed what I was doing and where I was doing it and who I did it with. Also, where you are doing something can be part of the reward. You may take or stay in a job that you would otherwise leave because it allows you to be in a particular place. You may want to be close to family, someone with whom you are in a relationship, or someplace where you may indulge your non-work passion such as skiing, opera, ethnic food, or anything else. I guess that I am saying that there is more to it than your 3 suggested values. Also, from an employer's stand point it depends on what type of employer is involved. By definition, a soulless corporation will be only concerned with profit while a sole proprietership may be motivated by something else, even, (dare we say it) altruism. GNM "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  13. George N. M.

    How do you stay cool ?

    If you are somewhere where the humidity is low realize that you can get dangerously hot without getting wet from sweat. The sweat evaporates fast enough that you never get "sweaty." Drink when you are not thirsty but make sure you have some electrolite input.
  14. George N. M.

    Attached garage shop

    Some years ago a guy I know was using a propane forge in an attached garage with all the doors closed. His wife found him on the floor between the forge and the door to the outdoors. Luckily he was still alive but he had to spend a nice long time in a hyperbaric chamber to get the CO out of his system. Not a fun experience. Personally, I would vent a propane or coal forge to the outside either up through the overhead attic or out a window using 90 degree bent stove pipe. All in all, I'd prefer a detached shop but sometimes that is not an option.
  15. George N. M.

    Bronze sword casting

    Question: It appears that the area that you are hammer hardening is pretty narrow, maybe 2-3mm. How did you decide on that width? Or are you taking several passes along the edge so that your total hardened area is wider than the area between the metal pieces in your jig? Nice set up, by the way.